Volume I Issue 2

September 21, 2000

Office of the Superintendent Dr. Robert C. McCracken

*School Board Approves Consent Agenda Items

Minutes of the August 24, 2000 regular meeting

Minutes of the September 8, 2000 special meeting

Bills in the amount of $466,740.79

Payroll for the month of August, 2000

Revenue report for the month of August, 2000

Special Education Advisory Committee Annual Report for 1999-00

Surplus Items/Giles High School

*Public Comments

Sheila Heath, New River Valley Community Services Prevention Specialist, attended the meeting to share information with the School Board regarding the Youth-Adult Partnership in Giles County. The purpose of the partnership is to help fight youth substance abuse. She reviewed programs which included Pulsar, Life-Skills Training, After-Prom Party, and After-Graduation receptions, which was established this year for the first time. She also spoke of obtaining three Governor’s Discretionary Grants which helped to fund peer counseling at both schools, along with the Summit for Success. They also work closely with the Giles County Partnerships for Excellence Foundation, Inc. with programs to keep kids emotionally healthy. Deborah Hankins, also a Prevention Specialist, talked about the After-School Program at NEMS, which was developed last year. She also assisted with Summer School, which is a preventive measure for students, by helping them boost their grades, it gives them self-confidence as well. Ms. Hankins explained worksheets that she uses that are keyed to specific SOL’s, for students who have no homework during the after school program. Appreciation was conveyed to the School Board for having an open-door policy, which makes the job a lot easier.

*School Board Recognizes the following by being presented plaques by the Superintendent and Board Chairman: Lauren Good – Summer Training, Southwest VA Governor’s School Medical Mentorship Program; Boy Scout Troop No. 178 - Outstanding Volunteer Efforts at Narrows High School.

*School Board Hears an Educational Feature by Giles County Partnerships for Excellence Foundation, Inc.

Joe Ryder, member of the Board of Directors for the GCPEF, attended the meeting to share information with the School Board regarding student programs and projects that are offered through the Partnership. Annually, the Partnership updates the Board on the projects and the positive accomplishments of students. The goal of the Partnership continues to be "to achieve academic excellence and economic opportunity". Mr. Ryder spoke of programs offered, which included Serve, Learn and Earn and Teacher Shadowing, and certification programs such as Waste Water Laboratory Technician, Water Treatment Technician and the Food Certification Program, which recently won national honors. Mr. Ryder commended Howard Spencer, Executive Director for his work on the WIA grant, in which enough money was funded for a full-time administrator, who will work with a targeted group of students, ages 14-22 to be tested for deficiencies, and in turn, strive to meet their needs. Also, a full-time teacher was funded through the grant for after school remediation, for students in need. Mr. Ryder commented that the partnership is an ideal chance for businesses to donate their time and resources in working together with schools and the community. He thanked the School Board for their continued support of the Partnership.

*School Board Approves Recommendations Regarding Personnel Items

The Board confirmed the following employment for the remainder of the 2000-01 school year: Tammy Johnson – MMS Part-time Health Assistant; Marlene Bailey – NEMS Custodian; Sherry Brewster – GHS Part-time Nurse Aid; Barbara Ratcliff – Part-time Pre-School Teacher Assistant/Narrows Head Start.

The Board confirmed the resignation of Tammy Johnson, MMS Part-time Health Assistant.

*School Board Hears Reports from the Superintendent

The Superintendent shared opening school information with the School Board. He commented that our student enrollment is within 5 students of the total recorded in June, 2000. He added that due to enrollment, a kindergarten teacher has been posted for Macy McClaugherty School. He commended the faculty and staff members at schools for a smooth opening this year. He specifically conveyed his appreciation to the two high schools that are currently undergoing renovations.

For the instructional update, the Superintendent explained how administrators are working to combine various plans into one. Those plans include Biennial Plan, Spending Plan, Remedial Plan, and Student Achievement Plan. Hopefully, those can be consolidated into one plan dedicated to student achievement. The Superintendent also updated the Board on meetings with principals regarding student achievement. Those instructional meetings will occur monthly separately with elementary principals and secondary principals. The goal is to continue to monitor student achievement.

Mr. Wheeler updated the School Board on the construction projects at the two high schools. Currently, girls basketball games are being played at Macy McClaugherty School and Narrows Elementary/Middle School. It is hopeful the gymnasiums will be complete sometime during November. He stated that the contractors continue to meet goals in a timely manner, and that’s helpful. He added that the roof work at the Giles Tech. Center is to begin during October.

The Board approved the resolution as requested by the VPSA regarding the issuance of school bonds, which contained wording as it pertains to the Code of Virginia.

The Board approved a resolution in continued support of the New River Magnet School for Information Systems Technology for the 2000-01 school year.

*School Board Takes Action on Other Items

The School Board approved a 2 year agreement with the American Electric Power Company, July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2002, regarding new lower rates.

The School Board confirmed annual budget meetings in the schools for the week of October 23, 2000, with the October School Board meeting set for Thursday, October 26, 2000 at 4:00 PM at the School Board Office.

*School Board and School Staff Present Comments and Mission Statement Accomplishments

Thanks were conveyed to Joe Ryder for attending the meeting to update the Board on the success of the Partnership. The Partnership has certainly evolved through the years, and was commended for all the activities they do. They continue to come up with new innovative programs for students.

The School Board met with administrators for their quarterly meeting prior to regular session. Board members were complimentary of the principals for a smooth opening of school. It is a great asset for everyone to be able to sit down and informally discuss how things are going.

Everyone is pleased that the Intern Program has been put into place. It’s the best decision to train our own people for administrative jobs.

Some Board members attended the New River Community College Board meeting recently held at Anna’s Restaurant. The working relationship with NRCC is appreciated.

It was commented everyone is glad to be where we are with the construction projects, and not where we were this time last year!

Board members that attended the Pre-School Conference at Mountain Lake commented what a good activity it is to start off a new school year.

The Governor’s School is up and running with 2 new teachers this year, Dr. Curtis and Dr. Smith. Welcome aboard!

Patrick Henry has a new Governor’s School, and has invited the Southwest VA Governor’s School to have their next Board meeting there.

Senator Robb recently presented a check to the Governor’s School for more than $138,000, which was greatly appreciated!

Kim Wilson, GEA President, commented how excited students and staff at NHS are about the renovation. Everything seems to be falling into place.

The Superintendent reiterated regarding the opportunities at New River Community College. It is phenomenal what the college offers for students and adults. Dual enrollment is another asset as well.

The Superintendent commented what a difference it made to be able to interview early on last spring for new teachers. Through the authority of the School Board, we were able to find highly qualified applicants for positions we had vacant for this year.

The Superintendent also commended the Partnership, saying how fortunate we are to have the availability of those resources for kids. Students receive the benefits of every grant dollar that is awarded.